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Underground Storage Tanks Integrated Strategy

On August 8, 2005, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which established new statutory requirements aimed at reducing releases of fuel from underground storage tanks (UST) to the environment. Among other things, it included provisions regarding a three-year inspection cycle for regulated USTs, operator training, delivery prohibition, and secondary containment. It also clarified that states have authority to assess penalties against federal agencies for UST violations. In response to these new requirements, EPA's Federal Facilities Enforcement Program has undertaken a national compliance initiative to improve the environmental management of underground storage tanks owned and operated by Federal agencies. Below you will find information on EPA Region 2's efforts to improve the compliance rate with Federal UST regulations among the Federal community in New York, New Jersey and the Caribbean.

In the Spotlight...

Installing New Underground Storage TankFederal Entities Agree to Pay Fine, Reduce Pollution to Settle Underground Storage Tank Violations at Puerto Rico Facility

The Puerto Rico Army National Guard and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service will together pay a $69,000 fine and ensure the underground storage tanks (UST) at their Camp Santiago facility in Salinas, P.R. comply with Puerto Rico UST requirements. The Guard will also install a system to conserve water and reduce pollution at the facility, estimated to cost $670,000. More....

Compliance Assistance

In 2007, EPA Region 2 held three workshops for Federal facilities to increased their understanding of the federal requirements related to underground and above ground storage tanks. The first was held at EPA Region 2's New York City office on May 2, 2007 to over 90 Federal facility representatives on the East Coast. The second was hosted by Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico on December 4-5, 2007 with over 40 participants and the third took place at EPA Region 2's Edison, New Jersey office on December 12-13, 2007 to over 40 representatives from the Federal community. A cd-rom was distributed to participants that contained resource materials for further study. A copy of this cd-rom can be obtained by contacting Kathleen Malone at 212-637-4083 or malone.kathleen@epa.gov.

Similar workshops were held across the country and based on favorable Federal agency response, EPA is in the process of developing e-training to be available soon to Federal agencies at FedCenter, the Federal government's home for comprehensive environmental stewardship and compliance assistance information.

EPA's Office of Underground Storage Tanks has developed numerous publications that can be downloaded from their website to help facilities comply with the federal underground storage tank (UST) requirements.

Compliance Monitoring

To date, EPA Region 2 has conducted 88 underground storage tank (UST) inspections at Federal facilities in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico since the start of this compliance initiative and found a compliance rate of 41%. Issues of concern noted in the inspection reports include:

  • Failure to provide corrosion protection;
  • Failure to conduct required inspections of corrosion protection systems;
  • Failure to keep adequate corrosion protection inspection recorEPA UST Inspectionds;
  • Failure to provide spill protection;
  • Failure to provide overfill prevention equipment;
  • Failure to ensure overfill alarm can be heard by delivery driver outside;
  • Failure to perform release detection for tanks and piping;
  • Failure to maintain adequate release detection records for tanks and piping;
  • Failure to provide annual testing of tank equipment (e.g. automatic line leak detectors);
  • Failure to report accurate information on active USTs to regulatory agency;
  • Failure to report UST closures to regulatory agency;
  • Failure to provide adequate secondary containment;
  • Failure to notify regulatory agency of potential releases; and
  • Failure to follow-up on potential contamination in a timely manner.

Enforcement

Since October 2006, EPA Region 2 issued formal enforcement actions against 12 federal government entities for violations of the federal underground storage tank (UST) requirements under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) with proposed penalties totaling $622,699. Ten of these cases have since been settled preventing 308,500 gallons of fuel from contaminating the land. Also, one of the federal entities agreed to carry out a supplemental environmental project (SEP) worth $670,000 as part of their settlement in return for reduced monetary penalties. The SEP involves the installation of a motor vehicle wash rack system at their facility which is expected to reduce water use by approx. 6% annually or 1.2 million gallons

To assist in the UST enforcement efforts, EPA's Federal Facilities Enforcement Office has prepared an UST Enforcement Compendium. The Compendium consists of two main parts: a narrative summary of the UST compliance monitoring and enforcement process; and a listing of key enforcement-related documents.

 


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